Why We Are Here
Five years ago, I couldn’t imagine YO! Marketing ®. I had a few clues about how I might make a difference to the market performance of engineering ideas. I was surrounded by great ideas that needed a little something more to translate to sustainable revenue streams.
One clue was my ability to translate complex ideas into simpler terms, drawing out deeper insights. I was an engineer with a desire to go out and meet customers. I research what the market needs and successfully position market solutions. The translation of ideas into marketable terms is my passion. I am not your typical engineer. Neither am I your typical marketer. Hence, YO! Marketing ®.
Where We Add Value
At YO! Marketing ®, I’m particularly interested in business-to-business marketing of complex solutions (products and services) in a global market heavily influenced by technology drivers. Within these markets, it is crucial to:
(1) Monitor and keep ahead of industry peers
(2) Understand (and anticipate) the needs of customers
(3) Involve customers in product development
(4) Ensure that you have the technological capabilities to provide future products. Such capabilities are not built in a day or even a year.
For instance, the ability to provide a subsea pipeline that can operate in 3,000m of water, under high pressure and high temperature could take several years. You’d need to build, test, get qualified and bring to market. If your customers will need this in three years, you need to have already started the R&D work! Similarly, gaining insight into your competitors’ commercial situation and factory loading outlook could mean a competitive advantage for you when bidding time comes. Hence, YO! Marketing ® strives to operate at the intersection of marketing, product management and commercial strategy, our sweet spot.
What We Do
There are a number of tools for analysing the market. But at the forefront, you will find product or market positioning. What problem does your solution solve for your customers? And then there is market intelligence, which should be a constant stream of monitoring and updating. Ideally, delivered to your management team on a regular basis. This is a great way to keep abreast with movements in the market. And also how your solution (product or service) captures the market. The lack of such intelligence, and more importantly, not taking action on vital market movements could be tragic for business.
Think Nokia. Great product (I still have 2 Nokia phones, solid). But the company ignored market movements and customer behaviours, thus losing market share that was once 40% globally.
Once you have a product position and market intelligence, other activities follow such as a commercial strategy, branding and tactics for spreading your relevant messages e.g on social media. I’m a fan of employee social media advocacy. It’s not easy to relinquish power to employees to share content online. But with the right training, content and trust, a company can amplify brand reach a hundred fold. Furthermore, recent research shows that 78% of companies achieve increased brand visibility through employee advocacy. Another survey of 875 engineers reveals that 42% of engineers get information from social media, second only to a company’s website where 57% get information.
Who We Collaborate With
I often hear marketing criticised for being vague and wishy-washy. Sometimes, it can appear so. Marketing can be a parallel universe, failing to impact on the real business issues on the ground. At YO! Marketing®, we are all about collaboration for smarter marketing management. Product positioning needs to be aligned with R&D, Commercial, Business Development and Sales.
Employee Advocacy has to involve Communications, Social Media and even HR functions in order to ensure an effective onboarding process, ongoing content production and employee engagement.
© All illustrations are the creation of Yekemi Otaru of YO! Marketing ® and must not be copied or distributed without prior permission from the creator
Yekemi Otaru is Managing Director of YO! Marketing Limited, a B2B marketing agency with combined experience in engineering and marketing roles. Recently named as one of 40 Under 40 by Scottish Business News, she is a published author and has contributed to business innovation in Scotland in roles at Schlumberger, GE Oil & Gas and Lloyd’s Register. She particularly adds value when there’s a blank sheet of paper so she’s the one to call when you’re not sure where to start.
This post was initially published on LinkedIn on 17th September 2016
Customer segmentation models are a great way to develop an efficient sales approach in a B2B context. It is valuable when you have a small sales team responsible for a wide customer base. Strategic marketing techniques could be an insightful lens when you need every effort to count. Here’s an example of a customer segmentation model. I have changed the name of the client and their customers as well as the data to retain anonymity.
**Robots Inc. has a small sales team operating globally in the B2B marketplace. They try to go after every lead within existing customers. But conversion rates are low; the team is overstretched.
To help the sales team identify high-value leads. And to create an effective approach for each customer segment.
I created customer groups based on data that reflected:
Strength of the relationship between Robots Inc and the customer. Are they passive, loyal or detractors?
Past revenue from the customer over the past 12 months. How much business have they done with Robots Inc. in the recent past?
Potential revenue from the customer over the next 5 years. What is the likely spend on robots and associated services with any vendor in the longer term?
Here is a representation of the customer data.
I identified four main customer segments within Robots Inc’s existing customer database. Let’s discuss the graph to explain how I achieved customer segmentation.
The Y-axis represents the potential future value of each business customer. And the X-axis is the perceived loyalty of the customer to the Robots Inc. brand. Bubble size represents how much business the customer has done with Robots Inc over the last 12 months.
To achieve a four-way segmentation, I worked with sales, commercial and product teams to develop a better understanding of each customer and what we consider to be high vs low customer value. For instance, let’s assume £40,000 over five years is the the cut-off between high and low customer value. A negative number on X-axis represents customers that are passive, or detractors. A positive number is a promoter and a more loyal customer.
Each of the four segments requires a different approach for customer acquisition, retention and support. The top right customers are your stars. They are loyal and are high value. Some of them may not have spent a lot with you in the past but you want to keep them close and happy going forward. Let’s call them “Partners”, for example, Electronics Ltd.
Top left customers are not loyal but they are high value. You want them to do more business with you. Look out for customers who are not happy (negative loyalty) but have spent significantly with you in the past. You might be on the verge of losing them. Consider what customer support they have been getting. Perhaps it’s time to improve that relationship. Let’s call them “Celebrities”, for example, Vintage Conglomerates and Plastics-X Ltd. Here’s a summary of the segments.
Using this, Robots Inc adopted a set of sales and marketing approaches for each segment. For instance, “Celebrities” require a strong acquisition strategy if they are not doing a lot of business with you already. This might include content marketing, case studies, testimonials, attending relevant trade shows and speaking engagements for visible thought leadership. Robots Inc might keep “Partners” close, providing ongoing support, account management and inclusion in product development. “Supporters” could be powerful in providing referrals and case studies from past projects even thought their future value is low. This low value could be for economic reasons e.g. low oil price so be careful that you don’t discard them over it.
“The Exes” are usually transactional. You might want to conserve your efforts with them. For instance, don’t send an employee from France to Australia to visit this customer if you can avoid it.
New Customer Segmentation
New customers are automatically on the left side of the graph. This is a starting point as your sales team begin to better distinguish “Celebrities” from “The Exes”. Over time, new customers should ideally move to the right.
If you think that this kind of analysis could be valuable insight for your business, don’t hesitate to contact us.
**Robots Inc. is a fictional company. Any similarities with an existing company is purely coincidental. Different kinds of variables could be applied depending on data availability, business goals and the required complexity of the model
Why Run An Employee Advocacy Pilot?
Launching a social media employee advocacy often begins with a pilot. This is a good idea because it allows you to test out the initiative. It also drums up support and participation within the organisation. It is also a great way to get a buzz going. But most importantly, it’s a great way to gather initial metrics to get leadership buy-in by showcasing early success.
Here are 20 tips to get you to a flying start with your employee advocacy pilot (pun intended):
Get Employees To A Great Start
You don’t need an army of employees to take off – focus on early adopters. Ensure there is an onboarding process that includes training and ongoing support.
One Last Thing
Experience, case studies and research show that the greatest influence on employee advocacy initiative success is leadership buy-in. And the most popular results have been brand awareness and visibility. Leaders within your organisation need to understand the potential impact on business performance.